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Examples include Chinese 年 "year", originally 秂, an ideographic compound of a person carrying a bundle of wheat denoting "harvest".Slavic besides godŭ "time period; year" uses lěto "summer; year".A year is the orbital period of the Earth moving in its orbit around the Sun.Due to the Earth's axial tilt, the course of a year sees the passing of the seasons, marked by changes in weather, the hours of daylight, and, consequently, vegetation and soil fertility.An academic year is the annual period during which a student attends an educational institution.The academic year may be divided into academic terms, such as semesters or quarters.The Persian calendar, in use in Afghanistan and Iran, has its year begin at the midnight closest to the instant of the northward equinox as determined by astronomical computation (for the time zone of Tehran), as opposed to using an algorithmic system of leap years.A fiscal year or financial year is a 12-month period used for calculating annual financial statements in businesses and other organizations.

Latin annus (a 2nd declension masculine noun; annum is the accusative singular; annī is genitive singular and nominative plural; annō the dative and ablative singular) is from a PIE noun , which also yielded Gothic aþn "year" (only the dative plural aþnam is attested).

When computations are done involving both years AD and years BC, it is common to use Astronomical year numbering, in which 1 BC is designated 0, 2 BC is designated −1, and so on.

Other eras are also used to enumerate the years in different cultural, religious or scientific contexts.

The Greek word for "year", , is cognate with Latin vetus "old", from the PIE word *wetos- "year", also preserved in this meaning in Sanskrit vat-sa-ras "year" and vat-sa- "yearling (calf)", the latter also reflected in Latin vitulus "bull calf", English wether "ram" (Old English weðer, Gothic wiþrus "lamb").

In some languages, it is common to count years by referencing to one season, as in "summers", or "winters", or "harvests".

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